VOSIEDA work with and support local communities and people to reach their true potentials and independence. Our approach to sustainable development is a grassroots and community-led model, using volunteerism as a vehicle. We mobilize volunteers to enable more people to get directly involved in their community development, poverty eradication and environmental protection efforts.
We take this approach because we believe that overcoming poverty and injustice from our communities cannot be left to acts of kindness. We must now use others armaments such as empowerment, technology, social and environmental justice, human rights, good governance, etc. Below are the essence of what we do and how we do them:
Destructive practices like deforestation and pollution are causing global greenhouse emissions to increase rapidly. These trends must be urgently addressed and eliminated. At the same time, we must work to catalyze more sustainable lives and economies, including the improved management of and access to sustainable ecosystem services, clean water, and clean energy and biodiversity that sustain life on earth.
VOSIEDA focuses on tropical forests, coastal and sustainable management of marine ecosystems, climate change, clean and renewable energy, biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management.
The biggest hurdle to increasing farmer productivity in West Africa today is the continued use of outdated production technologies and practices. Limited availability of improved seeds, technologies that reduce pre- and post-harvest losses, inadequate technical assistance, limited availability of pliable farm- to- market roads, and a lack of medium to long-term credit are just few example that continue to hamper the fulfillment of agricultural potentials in Liberia and other parts of West Africa.
We are working with small-scale farmers to develop local seed system, protect and improve the soil, ensure that small scale farmers have access to markets, strengthen agriculture inputs and output supplies system and train scale farmers in improve agriculture methods, etc.
We believe Gender Equality is achieved when women and men, girls and boys, have equal rights, life prospects and opportunities, and the power to shape their own lives and contribute to society. Equality between the sex is a question of a fair and equitable distribution of power, influence and resources in everyday life and in society. A gender-equal society safeguards and makes use of every individual’s experiences, skills and competence.
We outlines women and youth’s socioeconomic empowerment as the process by which women and youth increase their right to social and economic resources and power to make decisions that benefit themselves, their families and their communities.
Consequently, we work to ensure that poor women and youths have access to a full range of suitable livelihoods and affordable financial services critical for fulfilling their economic and social potentials. We provide trainings and resources to empower them build assets and livelihoods, earn more income, and create enterprises that provide jobs and boost local economies.
A robust democratic process requires an active and engaged citizenry. Nevertheless, in Liberia and the entire West Africa, millions of people are excluded from full participation in the political, economic, and cultural systems that shape their lives. When so many lack access to and engagement with their government, policies fail to address their needs, favoring instead those who already have power and resources. This is a fundamental driver of inequality.
This situation is neither natural nor inevitable. West African leaders have the potential to remedy inequality or to reinforce it. Against this background, VOSIEDA works to empower citizens to participate actively in political, economic and governing processes and hold governments accountable while helping governments and citizens break down barriers for the political and economic inclusion of marginalized groups.
In addition, we are intensifying efforts to support and protect human rights of the most vulnerable, human right defenders and civil society reformers in difficult political environments and promote increased space for meaningful political competition including related economic participation in order to create the conditions for sustainable democratic transitions in Liberia and other parts of West Africa’s Mano River Basin: Guinea, Serra Leone and Ivory Coast.
Despite this growth, development efforts in Liberia and other countries in the Mano River Union remain significantly challenged by severe capacity deficits. This include shortages of critical skills, inadequate leadership, impeding mindsets, and frail institutions, at both community and national levels. These deficits are having severe fraught on the implementation of government development plans and policies as well as donor funded development projects in areas such as agriculture, environment, etc.
Over the next five years (2019 – 2024) VOSIEDA will contribute to capacity development in West Africa, particularly in the Mano River Union. We will focus on strengthening grassroot institutions, empowering women, supporting economic growth, enhancing skills, and generating and sharing knowledge at the community and national levels. Furthermore, we will create platforms for the participation of the private sector and non-state actors in identifying and addressing development priorities at both community and national levels.
In Liberia and the entire Mano River Basin, more national and international development and donor resources are often spent improving the ‘supply side’ (building roads, training teachers, establishing farms, building hospitals, etc). All of this is essential, but in many communities, these investments are often abandoned because they are sometimes carried out at the expense of something equally important: creating demand for those services, so that people use and benefit from them. The problem is lack of awareness and knowledge amongst decision makers and local communities about the value of development services, Eq: forest, family agriculture, health, wellbeing, nutrition, etc.
We are piloting several media campaigns in Liberia at the same time generating evidence of impact using evaluations. We are working to scale up the most effective campaigns to reach local communities and decision makers across the region. Our focus areas include forest, human trafficking, family farming and road safety.